Peralta's HR In 10th Wins It

Teammates mob Jhonny Peralta, right.

The Indians couldn't afford to pay B.J. Ryan's asking price on the free agent market last winter. Wednesday night, they made him pay as Jhonny Peralta homered off Toronto's ace closer with two outs in the 10th inning to give Cleveland a 3-2 win -- and a three-game series sweep of the Blue Jays. Down on the farm, Triple-A Buffalo was the only one of the Tribe's affliates to claim a victory.

Travis Hafner (.310) hit a pair of solo homer to help the Indians improve to 16-5 since Aug. 8. That extended Hafner's career highs to 42 homers and him 116 RBI, including 109 driven in as the designated hitter. That ties the club record for a DH set by Andre Thornton in 1982.

Peralta drove a 2-1 fastball by Ryan over the right-center wall for his 12th homer of the season.

"I'm so happy because that's the first time I ever won a game like that with a home run," Peralta said. "Not just the major leagues. Ever."

It made a winner of Rafael Betancourt (3-4, 4.27 ERA), who pitched two scoreless innings after Fernando Cabrera (4.78 ERA) worked 2 1/3 perfect innings, striking out two.

Hafner put Cleveland ahead in the first inning, 1-0, by hitting a line shot over the wall in right and into the Toronto bullpen. He tied it with a nearly identical drive leading off the eighth.

Indians starter Jeremy Sowers gave up two runs and the lead in the sixth. The left-hander allowed two runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings.

"I felt good, but just couldn't get the out I needed in the sixth," Sowers said. "It didn't matter. Our relievers held them, Hafner hit a rocket and then Jhonny won it. That was exciting."

So was Ryan's work in the ninth, when he came on with the bases loaded and one out. The high-priced lefty struck out Hafner and got Victor Martinez to fly out to left.

"He made good pitches," said Hafner, who is now 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in his career against Ryan.

A homer by Hafner in that situation would have given him a major-league record seven for the season. He shares the mark of six with former New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly.

Class AAA Buffalo (72-66) defeated visiting Rochester, 6-2. Jake Dittler (5-12, 4.70 ERA) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out four. Rafael Perez (2.73) fanned five over two perfect innings. Jason Alfaro (.256) and Kevin Kouzmanoff (.370) had two RBI apiece while Ben Francisco (.276) went 2-for-2 with two walks, two runs and an RBI. The Bisons conclude their home season against Rochester on Thursday before going to Rochester for two games and then Ottawa for the final two of the season.

Class AA Akron (83-54) lost at Altoona, 4-2, one night after clinching the regular-season title in the Southern Division of the Eastern League. Brian Barton (.360) went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Ryan Mulhern (.270) had two hits. Jensen Lewis (1-2, 4.36 ERA) gave up four runs (three earned) over five innings, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out six. Bear Bay (4.43) fanned six over three scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk. The Aeros have five regular-season games remaining -- one at Altoona and four at last-place Erie. Then Akron will try to win its third championship in four years. The Aeros took three of four from Portland to win it all last year and swept New Haven to win the title in 2003.

Class A Kinston (34-29, 47-23) was postponed by rain in Winston-Salem. Kinston, which won the first half championship in the Southern Division of the Carolina League, is scheduled to play three more games at Winston-Salem and three at Myrtle Beach to end the second half before going to the playoffs.

Class A Lake County (32-31, 29-41) lost at Hagerstown, 5-3, for its eighth loss in 10 games. Ryan Edell (2.25 ERA) pitched four scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out three. Doodle Hicks (3-2, 4.96 ERA) gave up five runs (three earned) over the final four innings. Chris Gimenez (.263) went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI to lead the offense. The Captains will finish the season with one more game at Hagerstown and four at Lakewood.

Class A Mahoning Valley (34-34) lost at State College, 4-1. Cirilo Cumberbatch (.213) got one of the Scrappers' five hits and their only RBI. William Delage (2-7, 2.70 ERA), who fanned 11 over seven perfect innings in his previous start, gave up three runs (two earned) over six innings, striking out six without issuing a walk. Michael Hernandez (4.91) gave up one run over one inning and Andy Woods (8.10) pitched one perfect inning. The Scrappers return home for two games apiece against Williamsport and State College before finishing the New York-Penn League season with two apiece at Williamsport and Auburn.

Rookie League Burlington (34-34) had its final game of the season cancelled by rain and finished in second place place in the East Division of the Appalachian League.

GCL Indians (21-29) finished their season last week and some of their players are now playing for Lake County, Mahoning Valley and Burlington.

TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (HITTING)

PLAYER

TEAM

AB

H

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB

SO

1. B. Barton

Akron

4

3

0

0

1

0

0

0

2. B. Francisco

Buffalo

2

2

0

2

1

0

2

0

3. C. Gimenez

Lake County

3

2

0

1

1

0

0

0


TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (PITCHING)

PLAYER

Team

W

L

SV

IP

ER

H

BB

SO

1. R. Perez

Buffalo

0

0

0

2.0

0

0

0

5

2. J. Dittler

Buffalo

1

0

0

7.0

2

4

2

4

3a. R. Edell

Lake County

0

0

0

4.0

0

3

0

3

3b. B. Bay

Akron

0

0

0

3.0

0

3

1

6

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